AFRICA’s top cyclist Joseph Areruya has joined France’s Delko–Marseille Provence KTM on a two-year deal that will see him riding for the French side till end of the 2019 season.
The Tour du Rwanda reigning champions Areruya, 22, left the country on Friday night and is expected to start training with teammates next week.
Talking to Times Sport before his departure, the former Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s feeder team rider expressed his excitement and ambitions for the new chapter of his cycling career as he becomes the first Rwandan and first African cyclist to ride for Delko-Marseille Provence KTM.
“I cannot wait to start training and competing for my new team and enjoying the game with teammates. I am going to learn, hard work and ensure that my level keeps improving,” he said on Friday.
Fresh from the XXI Commonwealth Games in Australia, Areruya signed for the UCI Professional Continental Team last month after a series of stellar performances on the continent, including a historic triumph at this year’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in January, in Gabon.
Areruya, who has been riding for Dimension Data for Qhubeka since January 2017, parted company with the South African side shortly after extending his contract, which was supposed to end with 2018 season.
Now the country’s cyclist at the highest level, Areruya’s move to France following his phenomenal results in international competitions over the last six months.
The rider won Tour du Rwanda last November, the highly coveted La Tropicale Amissa Bongo this in January, and the inaugural UCI Tour de l’Espoir in March, in Cameroon, leading Team Rwanda to qualifying for the 2018 Tour de l’Avenir, slated for August in France.
The former Les Amis Sportifs cycling club rider also put up an impressive performance at this year’s African Continental Road Championship to win a total four medals – two gold, one silver and one bronze respectively.
Delko-Marseille Provence KTM, a professional cycling team since 1974, currently consists of 19 cyclists from nine different nationalities, Areruya being the sole African rider.